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Laws in regards to recovery’s?

Discussion in 'General 4x4 Discussion' started by LCV8VICTORIA, Jul 21, 2018.


    LCV8VICTORIA Active Member

    So when driving along you come across a car/4X4 in trouble and they ask for you to help them.

    While recovering them you cause more damage to there car eg. strap breaks, damaged there car caused by winch breaking, bent panels, car falls further down hill ect.

    As a tow company they would have the correct insurances to cover these sort of things.

    Also if its there car or a hire car does that change anything?

    Can the hire company take action against you for any damages to there car?

    Can they sue you or take legal action against you?

    This hasn’t happened to me but was just thinking about it after helping someone at the snow after they went over the cliff and helping a 4X4 Jeep last weekend that was like a submarine, both cars were hire cars.

    Photo below.

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  2. phs

    phs Well-Known Member

    Well it's a good question,

    You were asked to help so I'd assume you would be ok, but it is always questionable

    What is with people getting stuck and having accidents in the snow that are completely unprepared and careless if people keep that up they will sure enough make woodspoint rd a permit area in winter
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  3. Batts88

    Batts88 Well-Known Member

    Not sure about laws but if some asked you for help, you had a go at rescuing them from trouble within reason and not going stupid at doing the recovery and something went wrong they would have to bare the brunt of the cost for any further damage because they asked that's my belief. If not then things are going to change in a big way and people will be getting left standard every where which could even have fatal results sometimes. We'll have to start carrying waver forms around and get it signed first so that will be the end of 4WDriving as we know it because lawyers will love the extra money. If someone breaks down and blocks a track and you have to turn around and go home or spend time helping them then should you be compensated as well none of it bares thinking about but some one will eventually stuff it up for the majority.
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  4. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Id think the people who hired the cars would be more the ones in trouble as no doubt the T&C of hire would require the hire company to organise any recoveries etc but yea it is a worry
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    LCV8VICTORIA Active Member

    Yeah I spoke to the bloke that was the snow sweeper for lake mountain and told them to stop telling people to take there chains off so early he said that once they pass the corner it’s Vic Roads area so they don’t care past the corner. Bit stupid to me
    They have obligation in my eyes to keep people safe lol
    phs likes this.

    LCV8VICTORIA Active Member

    3 went over the edge about within about 1km of each other

    Few at Buller I heard to

    I was going very slow in 4X4 with no chains and was fine but everyone else was going to quick for the conditions
  7. Hoyks

    Hoyks Well-Known Member


    Yeah, that's always a bit of an issue. Everything is fine and everyone is happy until it all goes pear shaped and they need someone to blame.
    It was also the reason a club I was part of was formed because someone was planning on leading a forum trip and asked what if and had their insurance company say they were on their own.

    To know if you were covered you would need to have a look at the insurance company PDS.
    Mine has this:
    We will cover liability claims up to $30,000,000 (inclusive ofGST) for any incident. This amount includes any legal costs that must be paid to
    defend the claim and any costs awarded against the personwho was at-fault.
    We will cover you, a nominated driver or an authorised driver for any liability that arises from:
    loading or unloading goods
    the use of your vehicle or substitute vehicle, or any one trailer, caravan or broken down vehicle attached to your vehicle
    goods falling from your vehicle or substitute vehicle,
    using your vehicle or substitute vehicle on behalf of you or their employer, principal, partner or the Australian, State or local government.

    We will cover passengers of your vehicle for any liability that arises from getting in or onto, being in or on, or getting out of or off your vehicle or a substitute vehicle.
    We will only cover liability for death or bodily injury when there is no insurance required by law that already provides this cover. If this insurance was available to you and you did not take it, we will not pay the claim."

    I explain to someone the risks involved in doing the recovery and it is all care and no responsibility on my part.
    If it does go pear shaped, then I've used equipment designed for and up to the task for which it being used and I'm reasonably confident that I'll be covered.

    For rental cars, probably better off leaving them to the professionals as a lot of them rely on spinning a profit from repairs and have the lawyers on speed dial.

    I've done off road driving courses, both military and civilian, so have some under pinning knowledge, but don't claim to be an expert by any stretch, but it makes me cringe watching the efforts of some with the snatch strap and boot to the firewall school of vehicle recovery you see on the beaches.
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    LCV8VICTORIA Active Member

    Yeah I was a bit hesitant to help but it was a lady and a young girl.
    I just told the lady that I’m not taking the blame if anything goes wrong, just helping to the best of my ability. She said that’s fine and I just winched the car back up.
    Mr Rum likes this.

    LCV8VICTORIA Active Member

    How did you know that’s woodspoint? Lol did you read the sign?
  10. Bambi05

    Bambi05 Member

    First thing I think of when helping someone, do they have rated recovery points. Seen the vid of one fellas bulbar being ripped off :eek: Hate to be the one doing that.
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  11. Thug

    Thug Active Member

    In Victoria see the Wrongs Act 1958 Section 31B...All states and Territories will have same thing, As long as you are not getting paid to "rescue" someone the you are covered by doing something or omitting to do something which may cause further harm in helping others out. I would imagine hire vehicles etc have insurance etc cover same, so I wouldn't bother about a recovery.
    Mr Rum likes this.
  12. smitty_r51

    smitty_r51 Well-Known Member

    I would think you are covered by the same law that protect you as a first aider or a fire warden... If you cause more damage with best intentions as a good Samaritan it should get chucked out
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  13. boobook

    boobook Well-Known Member

    According to Wikipedia ( Yes I know !)

    Most Australian states and territories have some form of good Samaritan protection. In general these offer protection if care is made in good faith, and the "good Samaritan" is not impaired by drugs or alcohol. Variations exist between states, from not applying if the "good Samaritan" is the cause of the problem (New South Wales), to applying under all circumstances if the attempt is made in good faith (Victoria).

    Helping after a few beers could be a big problem.
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  14. Spooner

    Spooner Well-Known Member

    Thats the cause . People are stupid , think AWD you can fly along anywhere.
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  15. Albynsw

    Albynsw Well-Known Member

    As wrong as it might sound I wouldn’t be surprised if the person helping was still held liable
    If you take the feel good Good Samaritan part out of the equation you damaged someone else’s property
    I hope I am wrong but .......
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  16. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    There's a hell of a lot more wrongen's about these days...

    Surprised it took till 1958 to enact...
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    LCV8VICTORIA Active Member

    That’s what I was thinking lol
    I’d still help tho, I like to think by me helping people they would help in return or another person would help
    People always offer me beer which is nice but I don’t drink beer lol probs rude to say I’ll have a bourbon instead
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  18. madmonk

    madmonk Member

    One of the blogs I read infrequenetly is written by a barrister and disccuses the law and how it applies to emergency services (of interest to me as I am a member of our local SES). I found that there was an article about 4WD rescue or recovery written early last year.

    In that article, the following paragraph seemed relevant to this thread -
    Full article here -
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  19. Kippie

    Kippie Active Member

    We live near a regional Park in country Victoria and occasionally someone comes around asking for help because they bogged their car. I politely refuse because there is excellent mobile phone reception so they can arrange a professional recovery which ofcourse would cost them money. But that would teach them not to do it again!
    When traveling in remote areas I am also cautious. If it is an uncomplicated recovery, like a straight pull, then no problems provided the bogged vehicle has rated recovery points. But when it requires a snatch or winching operation then I offer them a ride to the nearest town where they can organise a professional recovery. I am happy to leave food and water for those waiting, but am not prepared to stick my neck out by attempting a difficult recovery.
    LCV8VICTORIA likes this.
  20. Hoyks

    Hoyks Well-Known Member

    I think you will find that the Good Samaritan legislation only really applies to personal injury.

    A ‘“good samaritan” is a person who, in good faith and without expectation of payment or other reward, comes to the assistance of a person who is apparently injured or at risk of being injured’ (s 56).
    To be a good Samaritan the person has be
    1) acting in good faith;
    2) without expectation of payment or other reward
    3) to assist a person who is
    4) apparently injured or at risk of being injured.

    Line 4 is the important one here. If the vehicle is in a ditch, not going anywhere and no one is injured, then you aren't acting within whats covered under the act.

    Under that Wrongs Act, (Section X) Negligence would be the more important one to consider. Under the act...
    "negligence means failure to exercise reasonable care."$FILE/58-6420a103.pdf
    and NSW Civil Liability Act 2002
    "negligence" means failure to exercise reasonable care and skill."

    The whole thing has the potential to be a bit messy and you would need proper legal advice (not 1/2 arsed research form an aircraft mechanic), but from what I can gather (in Victoria anyway) as long as you warn them of everything that can potentially go wrong and they give you the go ahead then you have exercised your duty of care then you just have to act with due care and in good faith.

    But keep in mind this bit if you profess to know what you are on about:
    Division 5—Negligence of professionals and persons professing particular skills

    58. Standard of care to be expected of persons holding out as possessing a particular skill
    In a case involving an allegation of negligence against a person (the defendant ) who holds himself or herself out as possessing a particular skill, the standard to be applied by a court in determining whether the defendant acted with due care is, subject to this Division, to be determined by reference to—
    (a) what could reasonably be expected of a person possessing that skill; and
    (b) the relevant circumstances as at the date of the alleged negligence and not a later date.
    So for your day in court, take along a bunch of clips from I got bogged at Inskip Point as to what could reasonably be expected of a person possessing that skill and you should be fine;).
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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